The artist Wardha Shabbir lives and works in the city of Lahore, Pakistan where she graduated from National College Of Arts with an honors in 2011, followed by the prestigious Principal Honor Award. Wardha has been awarded with many scholarships, grants and was also selected for an exchange program in Paris, 2010 with (ECOLE) during her Academic years(2007-11). She has been awarded the best young artist Award from AL-Hamra Art Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan (2011). Since her graduation Wardha has been widely displaying on both National and International platforms. She has been the visiting faculty of National College Of Arts (NCA) since (2012). She is currently running an open studio for students. She was the first artist from Pakistan selected for Flacc, Belgium where she initiated a research-based experiment on human Sensorium while transforming a 2D miniature painting into a 3D Interactive Environment. In 2016, she became part of the Summer Intensive Program at The Slade School Of Fine Arts, London, UK. She has part of DAS (Dhaka Art Summit), Scope (Basel), Contemporary Istanbul (Turkey) and various group and Solo exhibitions in the well –renowned galleries of Pakistan. Wardha being a sensitive artist, absorbs and translated what she sees and experiences within her environment into her “own language” mostly using a technique that is traditional. Wardha has modernized miniature painting by exploring themes and concepts that are very much contemporary in nature. Her work can be described as surreal; she successfully draws from her imagination to create fantastical landscapes and creatures that only exist in her mind world. The observer is drawn into her works, with each repeated study and exploration rewarded with yet another new discovery. Wardha has recently been shortlisted for the prestigious Jameel Art Prize 2018 of Victoria & Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom. Shabbir’s work is in private and corporate collections in Switzerland, Berlin, Dubai, India, Pakistan, New York, London and Canada.
Artist Statement
Stemming from my interest in the myriad contradictions that inform human behavior, the symbol of the path has come to inform some of my recent work. The discourse surrounding predestination or fatalism as having more, or the only, influence over our lives as opposed to personal choice being the catalyst for our fates is still an active one in the theology of my predominantly Muslim culture. But while religious texts, or the widespread interpretations of these texts, incline towards a fatalistic view regarding human life, there exists at the same time the concept of choice – choosing right over wrong, eternal bliss over worldly and temporary comfort, self-sacrifice over self-centeredness. The path or “Siraat”, then, becomes a means of navigating oneself through the clutter of these possibilities. It becomes a course of clarity in the midst of contradictory values and states of being.
Wardha Shabbir
Gyarah, 2018
Gouache on acid free paper
11.7 x 8.2 inches